The Legacy of Imari Ware: A Testament to Japanese Artistry

Japan boasts a rich tapestry of traditional art forms, and amidst this vibrant cultural mosaic, Imari ware (or Imari-yaki) holds a special place. Renowned both within Japan and internationally, Imari ceramics represent an amalgamation of indigenous creativity and external influences.

While the name “Imari” evokes images of bustling ships and ocean waves, it might surprise many to know that the real birthplace of Imari ware is not the port itself but the quaint town of Arita, located in western Japan. The nomenclature is a nod to the historical significance of the port, as the ceramics were predominantly shipped from Imari, making it a central trading hub. As the wares traveled, the name of the port became synonymous with the ceramics themselves.

One cannot delve into the history and aesthetic of Imari without acknowledging the potent influence of Chinese blue and white pottery. The symbiotic relationship between Chinese and Japanese ceramicists is evident in the shared techniques, color palettes, and motifs, with the former’s blue and white designs being a foundational inspiration for Imari creations.

A prime exemplar of this artistry is the decorative Japanese Imari vase and its accompanying cover. This specific piece captures the essence of the Imari tradition. Its primary decoration, underglaze cobalt blue, sets the tone. This vibrant base color beautifully complements the detailed reserves, which showcase both figurative and naturalistic scenes. These are punctuated by touches of coral red, a shade that adds depth and contrast to the intricate designs. To elevate its opulence, the craftsmen add meticulous detailing in gold, a testament to their unparalleled skill and attention to detail.

The vase’s lid is an art piece in itself. Encircling the finial are bands of multicolored patterning, harmoniously blending with the body’s design and accentuating the vase’s regal presence.

In essence, the Imari vase, with its rich heritage and meticulous craftsmanship, embodies the spirit of Japanese artistry— a confluence of history, external influences, and intrinsic beauty.

Nicholas Wells Antiques advisors are available to answer all your questions. 

Please email us or call +44 (0)207 6920 897

Large Japanese Imari Vase & Cover

Stock Number: 92804

A wonderfully decorative Japanese Imari vase and cover, the vase decorated with underglaze cobalt blue with reserves of figurative and naturalistic scenes picked out with coral red, further detailing in gold. The vase lid with bands of multicoloured patterning around the finial.
  • Height including lid: 62 cm (24.5 inches)
  • Diameter: 30 cm (12 inches)


This unique piece is subject to availability.
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Telephone: +44 (0) 207 6920 897

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Approximate Dimensions

  • Height including lid: 62 cm (24.5 inches)
  • Diameter: 30 cm (12 inches)


Period & Circa Date:





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Our preferred international shipping methods include fine art shippers Gander and White, Art Logistics, Cadogan Tate for items over £5,000. For Fedex, DHL or UPS shipments we expertly pack in-house in wooden crates or heavy duty cardboard – Suitable for most items under £5000. If you have your own shippers we are very happy to coordinate with them.


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